The Penrith Strategic Masterplan: A Vision to 2050 – is a non-statutory document looking primarily at a spatial strategy for the future growth of Penrith and wider Eden. This has been the subject of an eight week engagement process which was concluded on the 2 November 2018. At the start of the engagement process on the 8 September 2018, a public notice was published in the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald outlining:
‘A vision to 2050, a non-statutory document that sets out the Council’s proposals for how the area can grow over the next 32 years…. It is intended that the Masterplan in its current or amended form will inform a review of the Eden Local plan in due course.’
As a non-statutory discussion document it is not required to follow the same process and requirements as a statutory Local Plan. The next stage is to review the results of the engagement process, which will inform an early review of the Local Plan or part of the Local Plan which is hoped to commence in the summer of next year. The Government requires us to review the Local Plan every five years, but in reality as local plans can take several years to complete this is part of a continual process of review. This is particularly important in respect of our current employment allocations which are either under development or very much all committed, such that we are even now having to consider the next areas for development. This was part of the rationale for the production of the current Masterplan and the engagement process, which was looking to identify additional employment land which in turn would have a knock on requirement for the identification of additional housing land.
Following the conclusion of the engagement process for the Penrith Strategic Masterplan it is intended to prepare a report to go before Council Members in December 2018 which will include an overview of the public engagement process and outline the next steps and timescales for taking forward a formal review of the Local Plan next year.